Great Basin Brewing Company
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|Headquarters||Sparks, NV, United States|
Number of locations
|7,932 barrels (2013)|
Great Basin Brewing Co. is a brewery headquartered in Sparks, Nevada. It is Nevada's largest and oldest currently operating brewery - though not the state's longest operated. Great Basin beers are available as draught beer and in bottles at over 400 locations in Northern Nevada and the surrounding regions, including Aces Ballpark. They also serve beer at many special events, such as the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off and The Great Reno Balloon Race. Growlers and kegs may be purchased or filled at any of the company's tap rooms.
The company was established in 1993 after Nevada brewers, including company founders Tom Young and Eric McLary, successfully lobbied the Nevada Legislature to allow for brewpubs in the state. The original brewery and restaurant is on Victorian Square in Sparks. Their beers were winning national awards as soon as the next year. The Reno location was opened in 2010 with the expectation that its added capacity would satisfy demand for the next five years. Great Basin began regular bottling operations in 2011 (holiday releases had previously been available for several years, but on the scale of a few hundred bottles a year) and currently bottles three of their flagship brews. As demand increased further, a third facility was established when Great Basin moved into the warehouse formerly occupied by the defunct Buckbean Brewery. Along with the facility, they also acquired Buckbean's equipment, which was modified to meet Great Basin's needs. Taps & Tanks opened to the public at this location in 2012, and a high speed bottling line was installed there the next year - providing capacity to bottle seasonal beers. In 2014, just one year later, Great Basin bottled their millionth beer. Great Basin saw increases in business every year during its first twenty years in operation. Taps & Tanks no longer serves to the public due to new regulations on bars, but beer is still brewed and bottled there.
Great Basin brews several different beer styles and maintains ten to fourteen beers on tap. Many of their brews are seasonal or otherwise available for a limited time. Cask conditioned, barrel aged and nitrogenated beers are available by the glass on location.
These beers are available year round.
- Ichthyosaur IPA - or simply Icky, an American-style India Pale Ale made with CTZ and Cascade hops the company's first 'Brewer's Special' upon opening, named after the state fossil (available in bottle and cans)
- Nevada Gold - Kölsch lager made with 2-row barley and wheat malts, and noble Saaz hops
- Outlaw Milk Stout[i] - an oatmeal stout with lactose (available in bottles and cans)
- Wheeler Peak Wheat - hefeweizen-style wheat beer
- Wild Horse Ale - altbier-style amber ale brewed with five malts (available in bottles)
- 404 Scytale - imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels for 404 days (available in bottles)
- Balloon Brew - brewed to benefit the Great Reno Balloon Race
- Belgian Lavender - a Belgian-style ale flavored with locally-grown Royal Velvet lavender
- Bitchin' Berry - fruit beer made with raspberries (available in bottles)
- Bitter Recession - an English-style bitter
- Black Eye PA - an American black-ale
- Buster No. 4 - strong IPA brewed to benefit the ALS Therapy Development Institute
- Cowboy Coffee Stout  - a coffee-flavored stout
- Dawn Patrol - crystal pale brewed to benefit the Great Reno Balloon Race (available in bottles)
- Fat Monk Belgian Style Dubbel - a Trappist-style dubbel
- Gone to Helles - a helles, or German-style pale lager
- Harvest Ale - released in fall and brewed with locally sourced piñon pine nuts, juniper berry, and sage
- Hopasaur - the same recipe as Icky, but using fresh instead of dried hops
- Hop Head Ale - a heavily hopped strong ale measured at 100 IBUs
- Jackpot Porter - formerly a flagship, Porter in the English style
- Katie’s Cream Ale - a cream ale
- Kristall Weizen - a filtered version of Wheeler Peak Wheat
- Mayan Maybe - brewed with vanilla, honey, chocolate, corn, and chile peppers, released in 2012 to celebrate the Mayan doomsday prophecy, rereleased subsequent years as Mayan Maybe Not (available in bottles)
- Mollie’s Irish Stout  - Irish-style dry stout
- Moment Deathwish - a collaboration with Moment Skis, an American Pale Ale
- Munich Kellerbier - an unfiltered lager, thus the designation kellerbier
- Nevada Museum Of Art 80th Anniversary Egyptian Ale - brewed to commemorate the Egyptian Exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art, this was a recreation of a New Kingdom-style beer made with emmer and no hops
- Oktoberfest - usually brewed around October for the celebration of the same name, made with German barley and noble hops
- Pogonip Pilsner - pilsner brewed with noble hops
- Preservation Ale - organic ale brewed to benefit the Nevada Land Conservancy
- Rare Bear Cream Style Ale - a cream ale dedicated to the aircraft of the same name
- Red Eye PA - hoppy red ale
- Red Nose Holiday Wassail - not a true wassail, but a Christmas beer brewed with cinnamon, orange peel, cloves, vanilla and Nevada honey (bottled near Christmas as a stocking stuffer)
- Risky Biscuit Barley Wine - a barley wine, sold in smaller glasses and unavailable for growler fills
- Road Cone Delirium - brewed to celebrate the opening of the Reno location, the surrounding area was experiencing heavy road maintenance at this time
- Rock Mai Bock - maibock, or a helles brewed to bock strength
- Russian Imperial Stout - a heavy Imperial stout with seven malts at 9% abv
- Smoke Jumper - a brown ale with smoked malts
- Tectonic Event Imperial IPA - a strong India Pale Ale brewed to 100 IBUs (bottled)
- Truckee River Red - an organic red ale named after the brewery's water source, the Truckee River
- White Eye PA - a Belgian-style India pale ale.(available in bottles)
- Wicked Icky - a stronger version of Icky
Use in food
Great Basin is renowned for integrating their beers into the menu items available from their kitchens and offers beer braised pork, homemade beer cheese, beer batter fish and chips, chocolate brownies baked with porter, and many other dishes. They also reuse spent barley left over from mashing along with brewer's yeast in artisan bread. As a result of these and similar initiatives, 95% of Great Basin's waste output is reduced.
Awards and Recognitions
|Bitchin' Berry||Fruit wheat beer||2013 Great American Beer Festival Silver|
|Black Rock ESB||Extra Special Bitter||2001 World Beer Cup Silver|
|Cerveza ChileBeso||Jalapeño-spiced pilsner||1999 Great American Beer Festival Gold, 1997 Great American Beer Festival Gold, 1994 Great American Beer Festival Gold|
|Death by Chocolate Stout||Chocolate-flavored stout||2002 World Beer Cup Gold|
|Ichthyosaur IPA||India Pale Ale||2006 World Beer Championships Silver|
|Jackpot Porter||Porter||2012 Beverage Testing Institute 86|
|Nevada Gold||Kölsch||2001 Beverage Testing Institute Silver|
|Outlaw Milk Stout[i]||Sweet oatmeal stout||2014 World Beer Cup Silver, 2014 Great American Beer Festival Bronze, 2012 World Beer Cup Silver, 2011 Great American Beer Festival Bronze, 2008 World Beer Cup Silver, 2002 World Beer Championship Silver, 2012 Beverage Testing Institute 86|
|Red Nose Holiday Wassail||Christmas beer||2012 Beverage Testing Institute 86|
|Rosemary Rye Patch||Rosemary-spiced rye beer||1998 Great American Beer Festival Gold|
|Slam Dunkel||Dunkel||2008 World Beer Cup Silver, 2001 World Beer Cup Bronze, 2000 Great American Beer Festival Silver|
|Smokecreek Rauchbier||Rauchbier||2006 Great American Beer Festival Gold|
|Stone Mother Märzen||Märzen||2006 World Beer Championships Bronze|
|Whoop-Ass Witbier||Witbier||2010 World Beer Cup Bronze, 2013 Beverage Testing Institute 87|
|Wild Horse Ale||Altbier-style amber ale||1995 Great American Beer Festival Bronze, 1994 Great American Beer Festival Bronze|
|Wild Lemon Wheat||Wheat ale||2010 Great American Beer Festival Bronze|
- Outlaw Oatmeal Stout and Outlaw Milk Stout are the same product
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- on tap
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